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Any Catholics That Can Help Me?

A Catholic friend that is new to her faith was explaining to me (I'm Protestant) that she was told to believe that Mary and Joseph were celebate, she never had sex even after Jesus was born, Jesus had no half-brothers or siblings, she was born without sin and that she never died (God just "assumed her" into heaven).

I can't find any of this anywhere in the Bible and she's interested in learning where it comes from and why her faith believes this. Can anyone help me figure it out?

Thank you! :-)

(I'm only anon because I don't want her to see my question and be embarassed).


Asked by Anonymous at 9:07 PM on Apr. 21, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

This question is closed.
Answers (23)
  • The Bible doesn't say directly one way or the other but reading the writings of the early Christians we see that they believed that she remained a virgin her whole life.   For example, the  Protoevangelium of James (written around A.D. 120) is about how Mary was a consecrated virgin. When she reached puberty, her monthly cycle would render her ceremonially unclean and thus unable to dwell in the temple without defiling it under the Mosaic Law. At this time, she would be entrusted to a male guardian. However, since it was forbidden for a man to live with a woman he was not married or related to, the virgin would be wed to the guardian, and they would have no marital relations. So Mary was enganged to an older widower - Joseph - and remained a virgin.


    Answer by eringobrough at 10:00 PM on Apr. 21, 2009


    Answer by oldermomof5 at 9:12 PM on Apr. 21, 2009

  • Right from the book: Mary was a virgin before, during and after the birth of Jesus. This is known and the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary. By the miraculous event of the Annunciation, the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary and she conceived and bore a son named Jesus. Though this is a mystery it is totally logical to conclude this theological point. A mystery is a divine truth that is revealed but not fully explainable. The chief reason it is not fully explainable is because of language. When we speak of divine truths, which are infinite, we have only finite language to explain them. The very fact that it is finite indicates a limit. .

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:32 PM on Apr. 21, 2009

  • The idea that Mary remained a virgin was very well attested by the 4th century. And it's not just a Catholic idea. The leaders of the Protestant reformation -- —Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Ulrich Zwingli—honored the perpetual virginity of Mary and recognized it as the teaching of the Bible. The idea that she didn't is really more of a modern idea.


    Answer by eringobrough at 10:05 PM on Apr. 21, 2009

  • The idea that Mary remained a virigin is also implied in the Bible. Jesus was always referred to as "the" son of Mary, not "a" son of Mary (Mark 6:3). The brothers/sisters mentioned in the bible could be cousins or children of Joseph's from a previous marriage. In Luke 1:31,34 - the angel tells Mary that you "will" conceive (using the future tense). Mary responds by saying, "How shall this be?" Assuming Mary knew how a baby is conceived, this question makes the most sense if Mary had taken a vow of lifelong virginity. There's no mention of siblings when Jesus was lost at the temple (Luke 2:41-51). And mainly - if Jesus had brothers why would he give the care of Mary to John (John 19:26-27) it would go against Jewish traditions.

    Answer by eringobrough at 10:12 PM on Apr. 21, 2009

  • can anyone explain how she had no sin or was "born without original sin?" Can anyone explain how she never died?

    With Elijah and Methusalah (spelling?) God makes it clear that they did not die. If Mary was also "assumed" why wouldn't the Bible also make that clear?

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:15 PM on Apr. 21, 2009

  • The Catholic Church doesn't say whether or not Mary experienced death. The teaching of Mary's Assumption is that 'end the end of her earthly existance' God took Mary body and soul into heaven.

    Now Mary would not be the first person to experience this. Both Enoch and Elijah were assumed into heaven (Heb. 11:5, 2 Kgs. 2:11). I had an evangelical friend point out that Mary's assumption is the same idea as 'the rapture'. So it's like Mary was 'raptured' early. So biblical verses supporting the rapture would support Mary's assumption.

    And also like the perpetual virginity of Mary it's an idea that was from early Christianity.

    Answer by eringobrough at 10:22 PM on Apr. 21, 2009

  • The Immaculate Conception is the idea that Mary was born without original sin. Original sin is the loss of sanctifying grace. And again, Mary would not be the first person created without origional sin - Adam and Eve were too. In fact early Christians referred to Mary as the "New Eve". And when one reads the New Testiment in Light of the Old Testiment the parallels between Mary and Eve can be seen. (A table of the is here.)


    Answer by eringobrough at 10:29 PM on Apr. 21, 2009

  • The Bible says Jesus had brothers and sisters:

    Matthew 13:55 (KJV) Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?

    Mark 6:3 (KJV) "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him."

    Galatians 1:19 (KJV) "But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother."

    The term used to describe the word "brother" in these verses can also be translated as "cousin" or "kinfolk." The Catholic church chooses not to interpret it as meaning "brother." They also believe that since Jesus gave Mary's care over to one of his disciples (John) that he must not have had a next-older-brother to do it.

    None of that, however, says anything about her being celebate.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:31 PM on Apr. 21, 2009

  • The Immaculate Conception is also implied by the angel Gabriel when he said "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you" (Luke 1:28). The phrase "full of grace" is a translation of the Greek word kecharitomene. And here's where biblical Greek comes in handy.

    Kecharitomene is a perfect passive participle of charitoo, meaning "to fill or endow with grace." Since this term is in the perfect tense, it indicates that Mary was graced in the past but with continuing effects in the present. So, the grace Mary enjoyed was not a result of the angel’s visit. In fact, Catholics hold, it extended over the whole of her life, from conception onward. She was in a state of sanctifying grace from the first moment of her existence. (This is what is meant by Mary being born without original sin).

    Answer by eringobrough at 10:31 PM on Apr. 21, 2009